New Technologies for More efficient Recycling of Plastics
The overall objective of NONTOX is to increase the recycling rates of plastics waste containing hazardous substances by developing and optimising recycling processes to produce safe and high quality secondary plastic materials and by optimising the overall process economics by integration. Increasing recycling rates is crucial for the implementation of a circular economy as clearly stated in the EU Plastic Strategy. NONTOX focuses on the removal of hazardous and undesired substances from plastic waste taking into account the whole value chain: sorting and pre-treatment techniques, recycling technologies but also post-treatment techniques. Valorisation of by-products and removed substances is also considered to enhance potential applications.
NONTOX will target material recovery of plastics originating from WEEE, ELV and C&DW streams containing hazardous additives or undesired compounds such as flame-retardants, stabilizers, fillers, etc. Main secondary plastic outputs will include for example, ABS, EPS, PS, HIPS, PE, PP. The market for these polymers is massive as together they represent about half of the EU demand for plastics and yet a significant portion of these valuable plastics is landfilled or incinerated. NONTOX will further develop two different technologies (Extruclean and CreaSolv®) to remove hazardous substances from aforementioned plastic waste streams, allowing for increased recycling rates.
NONTOX will also improve knowledge and state of the art concerning pre-treatment and sorting of plastic waste containing hazardous substances. Thermochemical conversion of non-target plastics and side streams from the main recycling processes will be investigated to increase system efficiency by integration and widen the range of final products and applications. NONTOX is conceived by a multidisciplinary consortium including internationally renowned RTOs, universities, key industrial partners and recyclers as well as product design experts.
This workpackage is focused on creating a foundation of the NONTOX concept. Essentially, gathering reliable state of the art information on the EU wide waste statistics, benchmarking plastic waste pretreatment technologies and also providing new and innovative processes for pretreatment of hazardous plastic waste.
WP2 is the core of the NONTOX concept. It involves the development of novel recycling technologies i.e. CreaSolv® and Extruclean. These technologies will able to remove the hazardous and undesirable substances such as flame retardants from the plastic matrix without breaking the polymer chains.
This workpackage deals with the nasty residues and stubborn hazardous plastic waste by thermochemically dissociating them into valuable chemicals. Pyrolysis is a well-developed technology which will be challenged with this complex feedstock for maximum valorization and yet also most importantly safe disposal of the hazardous substances
The recovered plastic from mechanical recycling processes suffer from quality deterioration, discouraging the use of such material in same or similar applications. This workpackage is aimed at renewing those properties by smart addition of additives and thus imparting virgin like properties to the recycled polymers.
WP5 is focused on drawing the framework conditions for recycling plastics with undesirable substances. This includes not only the identification of legislative boundaries and barriers, classifying standards and international agreements but also providing recommendations to achieve true circular economy of plastics.
The aim of this workpackage is to critically examine the environmental and societal impacts of the NONTOX recycling concept by using life cycle approach. Another important goal of this workpackage to calculate the business potential of this approach by closely following the steps in the NONTOX value chain.
Science is incomplete without appropriate communication. This workpackage is in essence making the findings of this project visible by using latest means to communicate, exploit and disseminate at all levels including scientific experts, policy makers and common people.
Managing and coordinating the project is an integral part of any project. This workpackage is dedicated to maximizing the coordination of different actors within and outside of the NONTOX value chain. Ensuring smooth execution of the project goals and maximizing impacts.